Newbie needs some advise, does this sound good? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-19-2012, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
Newbie needs some advise, does this sound good?

Ok, I am totally new to keeping a fish so I figured a would get the advise of fish keepers with some experience. I bought my daughter four goldfish about five months ago not knowing what I was getting into. We have enjoyed watching them swim around and grow, however the last month I had noticed that my tank was getting really dirty and I was changing my filter every week when I did my water change. After doing a little reading a found out that the 10 gallon tank that we have them in now is WAY to small for them. So either this week or next(depending on when my husband gets his bonus check) I plan to up grade the tank to a 55 gallon. I plan on keeping the four goldfish and the one plecostomus in that tank and not adding anymore fish. I plan to eventually start a tropical tank because I know that the plecostomus will eventually need more room, he is only about an inch long right now so I have some time.

I really don't know much about cycling the tank or preparing a new tank for fish. So my plan was to fill the tank with some fresh filtered water and new gravel. Treat the new water for the fish and use some of their old water to wash the new filter in. I plan on letting this tank sit for a day so that the temperature can settle to the room temperature. Then after removing the fish from my old tank I will transfer the old gravel to the new tank along with the old water. Then add the fish to the new tank. I think this is what I need to do to keep the good bacteria and introduce it to the new tank.

Thanks for reading my post and any input is welcome, I really want my gold fish to thrive.
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post #2 of 2 Old 08-19-2012, 05:39 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

It is good you are getting the 55g for the goldfish. On the pleco, is this a common pleco? They can attain 18 inches and will be a steady source of waste. I would return it if it is this species, this is frankly not a good aquarium fish unless you have a huge tank.

On cycling the new tank, you need to "seed" the tank with the nitrifying bacteria. Bacteria colonize surfaces, so using water from an existing tank is not going to do this, plus it will move over pathogens and stuff you don't want in the new tank. Here's a paragraph from one of our member's post on cycling [the entire article is stickied at the head of this section]:
As mentioned above, beneficial bacteria live almost exclusively on the surfaces in your aquarium, not in the aquarium water itself. Thankfully, this means that it's relatively easy to "kick start" the cycle, no matter which method you're using, by "seeding" your tank with bacteria from an already established tank. There are a number of ways to do this. The simplest is to simply move some of the decor (driftwood, rocks, plants, artificial decor) from the established tank into the cycling tank, bringing bacteria with it. You can put bacteria-rich substrate into a mesh bag and put this in your filter or in a high-flow area on top of the cycling tank's substrate. Perhaps the best seeding method is to literally move some filter media (sponges, ceramic rings, filter floss, etc.) from an established tank's filter into the cycling tank's filter. When moving decor, substrate or filter media from an established tank to the cycling tank, be sure to keep any of these materials wet as any beneficial bacteria they house will die if the material dries out. If it's not possible to physically move the filter media, you can squeeze the media into the cycling tank's filter, which deposits some bacteria on your new filter's media and on the other surfaces in your tank. Because very few bacteria actually live in the water column, moving water from an established tank to a new cycling tank is ineffective as a means of seeding the new tank. There are also "bacteria in a bottle" products designed to add beneficial bacteria directly to your tank, some even claiming that they'll instantly cycle your tank for you. If you choose to use one of these products, make sure that you go for the type that needs to be refrigerated (bacteria are living organisms, after all). Results seem to be mixed with some reporting great success and others saying the product didn't seem to make a difference. While seeding a tank can have observable positive effects on the aquarium cycle it is not a substitute for cycling but rather a means to aid it. For this reason, caution should be taken not to place too much stress on whatever bacteria might have been introduced as it takes time for them to multiply.
With respect to the bacterial supplements, I have used Seachem's Stability with success. There is also Tetra's SafeStart. And a product called Dr. Tim's One and Only. All three are 100% live bacteria.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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